WASHINGTON

Four senior officials cleared of fault in Benghazi attack

Four State Department officials have been cleared of security failures that led to an attack last year on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, authorities said Tuesday.

State spokeswoman Marie Harf said the officials, who held senior positions at the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affairs during the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, will be reassigned.

She said an internal State review concluded “there was no breach of duty” by any of the four, who have been on paid administrative leave.

The State Department is not investigating any other employees. But the Benghazi attack has been under intense scrutiny by some House Republicans who have suggested the Obama administration is trying to cover up the circumstances and aftermath of the attack.

 

Documents show CIA’s role in 1953 Iranian overthrow

Newly declassified documents offer more details of how the CIA executed the overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected prime minister 60 years ago, describing the political frustrations that led the U.S. to take covert action against a Soviet ally — and echoing the current frustrations with Iran over its nuclear ambitions.

It’s long been known that the United States and Britain played key roles in the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh – a move that still poisons Tehran’s attitude toward both nations. The CIA acknowledged its role previously, even including it in the timeline on its public website last year: “19 August 1953 CIA-assisted coup overthrows Iranian Premier Mohammed Mossadegh.”

Mossadegh was replaced by the oppressive regime of Shah Reza Pahlavi, who was overthrown in 1979 by followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the Iranian revolution of 1979.

But for historians, the heavily redacted documents posted this week on George Washington University’s National Security Archive amount to “the CIA’s first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup,” the archive said on its site.

The documents also offer an explanation for the covert action that’s eerily similar to arguments for curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions today. The CIA argued then that Iran was threatening Western security by not cooperating — at the time, by refusing to bargain with the British-run Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. — thereby threatening the supply of cheap oil to Britain and risking a British invasion that could in turn trigger a counter Soviet invasion.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.

State agency leaves Klingon on its translating website

If you wanted to ask an Illinois Department of Employment Security professional how to appeal a denied claim — in Klingon — you would say: vaj tem DoQ, chay’ Qu’ appeal?

That means, if my claim is denied, how do I appeal?

You can learn how to ask many questions in Klingon — an unofficial language created for humanoid characters in the “Star Trek” television series and movies — on the IDES website. The site offers translations via Microsoft Translator. The current options are Spanish, Polish, Simplified Chinese, Russian and Klingon.

The Klingon translation started out as a promotion for the “Star Trek Into Darkness” movie that premiered in May. It has remained long after the movie release because the department received positive feedback from some who found it humorous. It also has managed to draw more traffic to the department’s website, spokesman Greg Rivara said.

The language doesn’t cost the department any money: Rivara said the Microsoft translation service is free. While the 280 pages on the department’s website can be automatically translated, staff members review each page in each language for accuracy and nuance. The department did not review Klingon — so some words don’t translate.

“To the best of my knowledge, we don’t have any certified Klingon translators on staff,” Rivara said.